The City office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges increased revenue 15% from £126.1m to top £144.8m during 2018, the firm’s recent LLP accounts show.
Operating profit surged 23% to reach £70m as the partner profit pool increased 27% from £51.8m to hit £66m in the 2018 financial year. The City office’s top-earning partner took home £1.72m on the back of the profit increase, a 41% increase on the previous year.
The solid financial performance comes in spite of concerted efforts to grow out the London office largely failing to gain momentum, with the exception of the marquee hire of Linklaters’ M&A star David Avery-Gee earlier this week.
Avery-Gee’s hire will be a significant shot in the arm for Weil’s underweight corporate bench and a long overdue kick-start for its M&A ambitions. The office has had notable setbacks in corporate, including the loss of London managing partner Mike Francies’ protégé Samantha McGonigle, who left after 13 years to co-found a growth fund in February. It also lost well-regarded head of banking, Mark Donald, to White & Case in 2018.
The City office has some way to go to address the relatively stunted growth trajectory compared with some of its US-based contemporaries in London. At the end of last year, Weil had 33 partners and 179 fee-earners, a position which has seen it add only 26% to its headcount in the space of five years. Nevertheless, it has outstripped relatively muted global revenue growth of 5% from $1.39bn to $1.46bn in 2018.